Chapter 14: Tongues and Prophecy
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14 1 1 Corinthians 14 Tongues and Prophecy Aim at love! Strive for the spiritual gifts. but especially that of prophesying I 21 For the man who speaks with tongues speaks not for men. but for God; for no one understands him,1 but he speaks mysteries in the Spirit. 31 The man who prophesies. however, speaks for men's edification. exhortation and encouragement. 41 The man who speaks with tongues edifies himself, the man who prophesies edifies the church. 5 I I wish you would all speak with tongues, but still more that2 you would prophesy. For the man who prophesies is greater than the man who speaks with tongues, unless3 he (sc. the speaker) interprets. so that the church may receive edification. 61 But now, brothers, if I come to you and speak with tongues, what good shall I do you, if I do not speak to you with4 revelation or knowledge or prophecy or teaching ? 7 I For when inanimate things produce a sound (or: So, too. with inanimate things that produce a sound5 ), flute or lyre, how is the tune that is blown or played to be understood, if its notes cannot be distinguished? 81 And if the bugle gives an unclear sound. who will prepare for battle? 9 I So it is also with you: if you do not utter plain words with your tongue, how are people to understand what you have said? Then you are talking into the air. 101 There are so many (or: who knows how6 many) languages' in the world, 232 Gen 42:23; Mt 13:13; Epict., Diss. 1.29.66; Bauer, s.v. aKOVW. 2 The change from accusative+infinitive to t11a makes no difference to the meaning. 3 EKTOS Eland El J.l.~ have been amalgamated; Hellenistic , see Blass-Debrunner §376. 4 "Armed with" (4:21) or "in the form of." 5 OJ.I.WS, "nevertheless," is difficult, since it is not immediately apparent where an antithesis should lie. Lietzmann explains: rd. 111/;uxa, Kal11'Ep t/>WI'TJI' 15L15lwra , OJ.I.WS ov ')'l'wuO~uETaL, Eal' 15tauroA1}1' J.1.1} oaULI ', " under who knows what sort of pretext" (Bauer, s.v. TV')'XIil'w 2b). This meaning of tj>w11~ is indeed classical. LXX: Gen 11 :1; 2 Mace. 7:8 etc. PGM 12.188: 1raua ')'Awuua Kal1raua tj>w11~, "every tongue and every language." 1 Corinthians 14 and there is nothing that has no language .8 11/lf, then. I do not know the meaning of the language, then I shall be a foreigner to the speaker, and the speaker will be a foreigner to me. 12 I So it is also with you: since you are eager for spirits, then seek to be rich in them for the edification of the church I 13/ So let the man who speaks with tongues pray that9 he may also be able to interpret. 14/ For if I pray in tongues. then my spirit is praying: but my understanding is barren. 15/ What is the conclusion from this7' 0 I will pray with my spirit, but I will pray also with my understanding. I will sing with my spirit, but I will sing also with my understanding . 16/lf you utter your praises in the spirit, how is the person in a layman's position to say Amen to your prayer? For of course he does not know what you are saying. 17/ You may indeed be saying a fine prayer: but the other Is not edlfled.18/l thank God I speak in tongues more than any of you. 19/ But in the church I would rather speak five words with my understan .dlng, so as to Instruct others also. than ten thousand words in tongues. However sharply outlined the theme ofchap. 14, the argument is loose. •1 The transition is harsh, and is not uniform in itself. r1]AOVTE KTA., "strive for, etc.," links up with 12:30,ll and is not in harmony with v 1a, which links up with 13:13.12 In the present context a unified line of thought can be discovered only with difficulty, namely, that gifts," in general, 13 but their classification, in the context of the actual state of affairs in Corinth. Now it is only speaking with tongues and prophecy that are discussed the order of precedence which the following vePses ascribe to the gifts is valid on the basis of chap. 13. Within chap...